Libyan leader Muammar Kadhafi’s son Saif al-Islam is in Washington where he has been meeting this week with members of the Bush administration, the U.S. State Department said.
However, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told journalists here Thursday that Saif al-Islam’s visit is a private one.
“He is the leader of Libya’s son. He does not hold an official government position. He is head, I think, of the Kadhafi Foundation.
“So one would reasonably expect, given just those two facts, that he will have some influence over the course that Libya as a state pursues over the next period of time,” the spokesman said.
He said that the younger Kadhafi met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary of State David Welch in Washington DC.
Human rights and Libyan opposition groups in the U.S. have criticised his visit, accusing Saif al-Islam of having a major role in the country’s human rights abuses.